Foundation of Love for Christian Unity

The Foundation for Christian Unity

Of all the people in this world, Christian leaders are the ones who should be most passionate about discovering truth. And if our idea of truth is the actual truth, this pursuit will draw us closer together as we draw nearer to a common goal. Yet, mysteriously, our individual conceptions of truth often create more division than Christian unity. Isn’t that why the church has splintered into thousands of denominations over the centuries? All too often, we carry a mindset that says, “Ours is the way of truth!” In essence, we are saying, “God has ordained us as the lone and elite guardians of truth, and you, of course, are in error.”

I am in no way suggesting that we jettison Biblical integrity so we can all “just get along.” Instead, I am saying that if we really are drawing nearer to God’s reality, we should be drawing nearer to other Christians who are doing the same. Unless, of course, God is failing to raise up a mighty church in these last days. Perhaps, all we have are a few isolated groups who alone have been uncorrupted by worldly thinking.

Covenant Thinking

Why have we become so fractured? Because we have strayed far from the covenant mindset in which the Bible was penned. Are not all Christians participants in the “new covenant” in Christ’s blood (1 Corinthians 11:25)? Do we not celebrate that covenant when we partake of communion? Is this not the source of our Christian unity? Do we even know what it all means?

Recently, I read a Christian book as a part of a study course. The work was well done for the most part, but one thing made the hair on my neck bristle. The author used the words “covenant,” “agreement,” and “contract” interchangeably. The fact that a seasoned Christian leader would interchange these words betrays the ignorance of the Western church.

A covenant is a sacred and binding relationship of the highest order. It is a type of an agreement, but not merely an agreement, and one very different from a contract. “Contracts,” it is often said, “are meant to be broken.” Covenants, on the other hand, are established with the expectation that they will endure.

Blessings and Curses

AgreementCovenants are marked by awesome blessings when they are kept and terrible curses when broken. If the members of a church mission team, for example, were to sign a genuine covenant regarding their treatment of one another on a trip, each team member would be willing to lay down his or her life for the others. Failure to honor the covenant, however, would result in an extreme curse-infused penalty—being dragged for several miles behind a fifteen-passenger van of teenage boys who just left Taco Bell, for example. Clearly, this is not the mindset that characterizes the vast majority of our church “covenants.”

The new covenant established by Jesus through His blood stands at the pinnacle of all covenants. Thus, it forms the highest order of relationship possible. When a person becomes a Christian, he or she enters into a oneness relationship with the Creator of our universe. Simply amazing!

Christian Unity

There’s even more to the story, though. Those who enter into the new covenant in Christ also form a sacred covenant bond with one another. And so it is that we all become “brothers and sisters” in Christ as members of God’s royal family.

Love, through the new covenant in Christ, is the “glue” that establishes the foundation for Christian unity and holds us together. If we are divided as Christians, someone(s) is failing to live out the love of Christ.

Our task as Christians is not to create some type of “ecumenical” uniformity with all humanity, but rather to honor and preserve the unity already established by the blood of Jesus. Of course, we are to treat all people with love, honor, and respect, but our covenant bond is through Jesus Christ. This bond alone is the foundation of our Christian unity and one that must be re-forged for Christ’s church to flourish in these last days. And flourish, she will!